British Yard Mine Sweeper
BRITISH YARD MINE SWEEPERS
BYMS’s were built in the United States and transferred the Royal Navy under the Lend-lease Programme. “British Yard Mine Sweepers” are so called because they were built to the same design as the US Navy’s “Yard Mine Sweepers”.
Crews for the BYMS’s would sail to the United States, often on the Queen Mary, which could sail unescorted because of her greater speed, to collect their vessel. They would then have the formidable task of sailing their small vessel back across the Atlantic Ocean, often in winter.
On 18 October 1950, the minesweeper Gongju, formally BYMS 2148, detonated a mine and sank while sweeping Wonsan Harbour, South Korea.
MINE SWEEPING FLOTILLA: 161st MSF: 2148, 2217, 2223. Detained in the Mediterranean on route to the Far East.
Built by: Western Boat Building Co., Tacoma, Washington, USA (West Coast)
Laid down: 8 June 1942.
Launched: 29 November 1942.
Handed over to Royal Navy: 15 May 1943.
Returned to USA: 10 November 1946. Transferred to South Korea in 1948 and re-named Gongju.
18 October 1950, detonated a mine and sank.
Wooden hull. Length, 130 feet. Beam, 25 feet 6 inches. Depth, 12 feet I inch. Draft, 8 foot 10.5 inches. Displacement 207-215 tons.
Engine: Two 800 bhp General Motors diesel engines.
Speed: 14.6 knots. 10 knots while sweeping. (Eight knots with double Oropesa sweeps)
Range: 2,500 at ten knots.
Compliment: 3 officers and 27 men.
Armament: One 3-inch HA/LA gun and two Oerlikon anti-aircraft guns.
BYMS’s were fitted with a drum on the stern with LL (double L) cables for sweeping magnetic mines, an acustic hammer on the bow for sweeping acustic mines and Oropesa floats for sweeping tethered mines.
All YMS and BYMS were built to the same design, the only variation was in the number of exhaust stacks. Minesweepers 1 to 134 had two sacks, 135 to 480 had one stack, 466 to 479 had no stacks.
15 May 1943, completed.
10 Aug 1943, Seattle, Washington, USA. (West Coast)
16 Sep 1945, Cristoba, Panama Canal.
21 to 27 Sep 1943, Trinidad.
28 Sep 1943, Georgetown, St Vincent and the Grenadines.
18 Oct 1943, Recife, Brazil.
25 to 28 Oct 1943, Freetown, Sierra Leone, West Africa.
30 Oct to 1 Nov 1943, Dakar, Senegal.
8 to 20 Nov 1943, Gibraltar.
2 to 23 Feb 1944, Malta.
27 Feb to 31 March 1944, Alaxandria, Egypt.
1 April 1944, Port Said, Egypt.
2 April 1944, Suez, (Southern end of Suez Canal.)
8 and 9 April 1944, Aden, Yemen.
16 to 20 April 1944, Bombay, India.
3 Aug 1944, Madras, India.
8 Aug 1944, Visaagapatam, India.
10 November 1946, returned to USA.
18 October 1950, detonated a mine and sank. (Under South Korean Command)
BYMS 2148 was transferred to the Republic of Korea (South Korea). On 18 October 1950 she was blown up by a magnetic mine off Wonsan Harbour.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1943.
Not on Navy Lists.
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, June 1944.
Skipper Lieut., R. C. Taylor, 22 May 43, (In Command)
Tempy. Skipper. G. H. Aisthorpe 22 May 43.
Tempy. Skipper, W. Pashby (act) 22 May 43
OFFICERS ON THE NAVY LIST, July 1945.
Tempy. Sub-Lieut., C. S. Thistlewaite, 24 Feb 45.
Tempy. Skipper, W. Pashby (act) 22 May 43.
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